Understanding the smartphone usage of lower income customers

Annie Woodhead

This Fjord report is based on research carried out both formally and informally over recent months by Fjord in Los Angeles, California.

Our focus was on understanding the smartphone usage of lower income customers, and to examine the emerging trends within this demographic group.

Fjord believes this growing demographic group provides a rich source of insight and inspiration when it comes to designing services and interfaces within which technology is used to genuinely support a ‘smarter’ lifestyle. The innovation and flexibility this group showed in their use of technology led us to think of them as ‘Digital Jugglers’: those for whom a reduced sense of security around their employment, housing, and financial needs has seen them quickly use and adapt digital services in new ways, in order to cope.

In particular, the mobile device has been pivotal in providing the Digital Jugglers with more powerful tools with which to navigate the stresses of modern living, offering new ways for users to deal with the challenge of short-term and part-time employment arrangements, just to take one prominent example.

We also discovered that many of the services that have seen companies rush towards monetisation – games and music, for example – were far less significant in the usage patterns of this demographic group. Not surprisingly, they were more inclined to view their smartphone as an essential tool for managing the complexity of daily working life, rather than as a leisure-focused lifestyle accessory.

You can read the full report here.

Eleanor Davies, User Insights Lead, Fjord

Annie Woodhead

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